Egyptian digital pharmacy start-up Grinta raises $8m to scale tech platform

The seed round was co-led by Saudi Arabia’s Raed Ventures and Global Ventures’ FinTech fund NClude

Grinta's management team led by chief executive and co-founder Mohamed Azab (far right). Photo: Grinta
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Cairo-based digital pharmacy start-up Grinta has raised $8 million in an early funding round to scale its technology platform and accelerate growth across the Egyptian market, the company said on Monday.

The seed round was co-led by Saudi Arabia’s Raed Ventures and NClude, an Egyptian FinTech fund managed by Dubai-based Global Ventures.

New York-based Endeavor Catalyst and San Francisco-based 500 Global also participated in the round, which brings the total funding raised by Grinta to $9.5m.

Grinta digitises the pharmaceutical supply chain by providing product fulfilment, demand planning and inventory financing for manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and pharmacies.

Egypt has three large distributors and more than 3,000 wholesalers targeting 60,000 fragmented retail pharmacies, making it the largest pharmaceuticals market in Africa worth more than $6 billion, Grinta said.

“As we plan to expand our footprint in the main pharma hubs on the continent, we will also enable Egyptian and regional pharma manufacturers to further penetrate the $50 billion African market,” said Grinta chief executive and co-founder Mohamed Azab.

Founded in late 2021 by Mr Azab, Yosra Badr, Ali Youssef and Hamza Mohamed, Grinta aims to make pharmaceuticals more accessible and affordable in Egypt and Africa.

Mr Azab was previously chief executive of Hassab Labs and is a co-founder and chairman of Seha Healthcare. He has also been a board member of Endeavor Egypt since 2015.

Grinta has more than 14,000 registered pharmacies and around 20,000 stock-keeping units on its platform and has delivered more than 100,000 orders over the last year.

The latest funding will also be used to expand the company’s workforce of 300 employees.

Wael Nafee, partner at Raed Ventures, said the venture capital fund is proud to double down on Grinta’s “exceptional team of serial healthcare entrepreneurs on a mission to improve access to and affordability of medicines in Egypt and Africa”.

“By empowering pharmacies to be more efficient, fixing a broken supply chain end-to-end and partnering with all stakeholders in the value-chain they will realise this vision,” Mr Nafee said.

Raed Ventures has invested in several Egyptian start-ups, including used car marketplace Sylndr, e-commerce delivery platform Rabbit, trucking logistics player Trella and Nasdaq-listed Swvl.

Eslam Darwish, founding general partner at NClude, said the fund is “excited to partner with Grinta to help enable their vision of delivering customer-centric, data-driven and FinTech-enabled solutions to modernise the pharmaceutical supply chain in Egypt and beyond”.

NClude’s investments include Paymob, Partment, Khazna, Lucky, Mozare3 and FlapKap.

Endeavor Catalyst, the co-investment vehicle designed to support Endeavor Entrepreneurs, has more than $500 million in assets under management and has made more than 260 investments across over 30 markets. Grinta is the fund's 10th investment in Egypt.

“More than attracting attention and capital to the region, Mohamed Azab’s latest achievement advances the entire healthcare industry,” said Endeavor Catalyst Managing Partner Allen Taylor.

500 Global, a venture capital firm with $2.7 billion in assets under management, has also invested in many Egyptian start-ups such as Breadfast, Brimore and Homzmart.

Egyptian start-ups have raised a total of $488 million in the first 10 months of this year, according to Dubai-based entrepreneurship platform Wamda.

Last month, Egypt led the Mena region with 18 deals and came second to the UAE with a total of $113 million raised. The top three fundraisers include FinTech Money Fellows with $31 million, banking platform Telda with $20 million and business-to-business marketplace MaxAB with $40 million.

Egyptian healthcare platform Vezeeta also raised an undisclosed late-stage funding round to fund acquisitions and expansion across the Middle East and Africa.

Updated: November 21, 2022, 5:27 PM